ZAKA volunteers in the Gaza border area
ZAKA volunteers in the Gaza border areaChaim Goldberg/Flash90

Yehuda Avidan, Director General of the Religious Affairs Ministry, on Saturday evening instructed Ministry employees not to cooperate with ZAKA Tel Aviv on anything related to the Ministry's activities regarding the identification of IDF soldiers who fell in the war against Hamas.

"The instruction follows a Friday announcement by ZAKA Tel Aviv in which the organization leaked, in an irresponsible manner and seriously harming the families of the murdered in connection to victim Elyakim Libman, my G-d avenge his blood," a statement read. "The Director General of the Ministry has announced that ZAKA Tel Aviv did not have any connection and there was no source who dealt with the matter. Yet after they were exposed to the details, they quickly took upon themselves an action which had not existed until then."

The Ministry also promised that it "intends to carry out a comprehensive examination, and ensure that such things do not happen a second time. The Ministry will continue to carry out its tasks only with the families, ensuring sensitivity and respect for their honor."

"The Ministry thanks Israel Police and the Institute for Forensic Medicine, and the IDF, for the dedicated work over many long months, and for not relenting even for a minute from their commitment to bring all of the war's victims to rest, from the first day of the war until today. The Ministry shares the sorrow of the holy Libman family, and hopes that they not know any more sorrow."

Libman was considered to be hostage in Gaza, until his body was recently identified buried along with other victims of the Nova massacre. Libman's funeral will take place at the Cave of the Patriarchs on Sunday afternoon, and he will be buried in the old cemetery in Hebron.